Fur - yes or no?

(86 Posts)
MrsCampbellBlack Tue 06-Aug-13 14:09:11

Interesting article about fur in September vogue. Seems its becoming popular again and I just wondered what people's views were on here?

Personally I'd wear shearling as not sure that's very different to leather (is it??) but wouldn't wear real fur.

So does anyone wear real fur?


SundaySimmons Tue 06-Aug-13 14:12:04


I have no problem if you eat the animal and then wear the fur to keep warm.

Leather is a by product of the beef industry, so I don't have a problem with that.

Mink and fox are farmed specifically for their fur, so I do have a problem with that.

I also think that they can manufacture fake fur which looks great, keeps you warm and unless you live in some kind of sub zero environment, there is no need to wear real fur.

OddSockMonster Tue 06-Aug-13 14:15:01


Only really accceptable if you're living within the Arctic circle and the alternative involves freezing to death, in my opinion.

dexter73 Tue 06-Aug-13 14:15:47

Not for me either. I agree with SundaySimmons that the fake fur looks just as good to me.

OddSockMonster Tue 06-Aug-13 14:18:05

Actually, I should extend that to anyone who lives in mountains, or nomadic communities etc. too really shouldn't I.

Bonsoir Tue 06-Aug-13 14:19:49

I love the look of real fur and it is perfectly standard ( more than acceptable) winter wear where I live. I'm just waiting for Father Christmas to put a mink coat (preferably from Marni) in my stocking smile

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 06-Aug-13 14:21:02

I've noticed on higher end coats with fur trim that its often real now when I've just assumed its fake. I suspect there are quite a lot of people who are wearing fur but don't realise.

But interesting its all no's so far. Well, of course I did expect that, am not sure mn'ers are you're classic fur jacket market.

Yes, fur is a renewable resource, and contrary to popular belief, the carcasses are used in the pet food and fertiliser industries, so there is no waste.

Fake fur is manufactured from plastic, which is made from oil and is non biodegradable. Many marine animals are harmed or killed through the manufacturer of fake fur.

Fur animals bred in Europe and North America are looked after, simply because high quality fur makes more money, and high quality fur only comes from animals with good welfare. This is more than can be said for most animals bred primarily for food.

Of course, there are terrible things done to animals to obtain cheap fur in China, before anyone feels the need to link to videos of dogs being skinned alive, but the Chinese don't treat their people terribly well either, so I boycott Chinese goods primarily for humanitarian, rather than animal welfare terms.

Most of my fur coats are coney/rabbit because mink is so expensive. My favourite coat is a 1920s fur coat which looks as good today as when it was made. This is another bonus to fur - it lasts a long time.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 06-Aug-13 14:22:17

Absolutely no - that was pretty brave of you to admit that bonsoir, i am sure there are far more practical ways to keep warm, ways that wont make you look like a twat.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 06-Aug-13 14:23:06

Ooops cross post with Bonsoir

Thumbwitch Tue 06-Aug-13 14:23:15

No. Unless it's a by-product of meat or by people who live routinely in way subzero temps.
As a fashion statement, it sucks and should be banned.

Leather - I don't have an issue with.

noddyholder Tue 06-Aug-13 14:23:52

I love the look of some furs. there is definitely a resurgence in its popularity Has been for a few years. I was doing some work with someone who upcycles clothes and she had 2 student vegan types helping and we had a real fur hat which I thought they would really object to but they had no problem with it as it was very old. I went to an antique fair several years ago and there was a very old lady with a huge collection of furs. She spied me in the crowd as I have reddish hair and she said had same colouring to her as a young woman and she anted me to put them on for her to see. I was mortified but did and some of them were stunning and unbelievably glamorous Instant hollywood but just felt wrong

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 06-Aug-13 14:27:46

No. Never.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 06-Aug-13 14:27:54

I think that's it Noddy. I've seen the odd fur in vintage shops and have been tempted as they are so glamorous. But it does just feel wrong.

However as more designers use fur and as worldgonecrazy mentioned, the way the animals are farmed is very different now, well perhaps in a few years it will seem more acceptable.

MrsLettuce Tue 06-Aug-13 14:28:06

i find it hard to argue against wearing vintage fur but new? Nah. I don't think so. Unless I was absolutely sure it was no less cruel than, say, a lasagne or chicken sandwich.

Trying2bMindful Tue 06-Aug-13 14:30:40

I would love to. A fur coat for a mountain trip is definitely on my wish list. Perhaps if I lose 4 stone I can inherit all those hung in my mother's wardrobe. Such a shame she no longer lives in a country with a proper winter. The poor coats hang forlornly having not been worn in a decade!

noddyholder Tue 06-Aug-13 14:30:41

The coats transformed my skinny jeans and boots to new heights grin

snowlie Tue 06-Aug-13 15:03:54

Most of the meat we eat on a daily basis has had a pretty shit life, at least an animal who had lived in the wild and been shot for their coat has had their freedom rather than growing up in a crowded barn. I do think this subject is overly emotive, why aren't people getting upset about caged birds and caged pigs, so many more of those poor animals have a shit life than a few cute and furrys who are killed for their beautiful pelts.

I don't wear real fur, but I think the feelings against it aren't purely about animal suffering.

Vibbe Tue 06-Aug-13 15:06:13

I wear real fur - I used to have a vintage mink coat, as well as some other vintage coats, and I have some different smaller items that aren't vintage.

I absolutely love fur, and comparing to other types of coats I have had, I've been most comfortable and warm in really cold winters in the fur coats.

I don't come from the UK, but instead I'm from a country where fur is accepted by more people.
I've never bought new fur really cheap, and I have been trying my best to research the companies (and where they get the fur from) before buying.

herethereandeverywhere Tue 06-Aug-13 15:07:35

Wot worldgonecrazy said ^

Panzee Tue 06-Aug-13 15:09:41

Fur is more popular because fashion students are given incentives by fur fashion companies to work with it.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 06-Aug-13 15:13:01

Is everyone who posted vegan then?

I wouldn't have a problem wearing vintage fut but I don't know how I'd feel about wearing something modern. I've never really given it much though as fur is out of my budget anyway.

Thumbwitch Tue 06-Aug-13 15:20:57

IF people just stuck to farmed fur, it might be more ok - but they don't. And so hunting of species for their fur continues, and more species go extinct. Not worth it, IMO.

foxysocks Tue 06-Aug-13 15:33:47

I just read that article too

It's a no from me, I wouldn't feel comfortable. I do wear leather though, and eat some dairy products and eggs. I don't eat meat. Mass of contradictions!

Peetle Tue 06-Aug-13 15:41:47

Farmed fur is just as bad, if not worse, than battery chickens, sweatbox piggeries, etc, etc. Plus the animals farmed for their fur, specifically mink, are a nightmare when they escape - or are released by some misguided Animal Rights folk. There are some real problems in Scotland with escaped mink. You don't get much of a problem with escaped chickens and pigs - at least they don't set up colonies which devastate the local wildlife.

I think part of the objections to fur is the elitism implied by wearing it, as much as the animal rights aspect.

I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I do wear a small amount of leather though I don't buy shoes very often, and then not always leather ones.

EasterHoliday Tue 06-Aug-13 15:45:44

Definitely not. I have turned down all the dead animal coats and hats my mother has offered me, aged or not.
I do eat meat but i see eating as a more essential function than wearing fur, adn generally eat what's been bred and killed at our local farm (having fed teh pigs broccoli stalks for a while). No farrowing cages or battery chickens in sight.
The means of killing a lot of fur / exotics and reptiles to preserve the integrity and pattern of the hides / skins is so utterly revolting (unborn lamb handbags? no, ta) that I don't go there either, however little I'm a fan of pythons while alive.
I think it's also an 80yr old Manhattan lady / flash Russian look on the whole too and I'm not really a Cavalli sort of girl.

MrsMcEnroe Tue 06-Aug-13 15:51:18

I wear real vintage fur (pre 1970) and so do many of my customers. It's a big seller for me. May as well recycle it if it's already dead.

squoosh Tue 06-Aug-13 16:10:17

No chance.

If you're living in the Arctic Circle hunting the animals yourself and wearing the furs to stay alive fair enough. But the idea of wearing another creature's pelt just gives me the shivers. The fur industry is beyond barbaric.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 06-Aug-13 16:33:48

I'm vegetarian, our eggs come from a farm that has its own chickens that run around all day with the cockerill and the dog and the farm cat.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 06-Aug-13 16:45:05

Well given that the dairy industry results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of new born male calves every year, and a vastly foreshortened life for the female breeding stock, you may as well go vegan if you're veggie on welfare grounds.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 06-Aug-13 17:06:03

I have soya milk, I've been allergic to cows milk for years.

squoosh Tue 06-Aug-13 17:09:27

So either you're a vegan or you're living an unethical lifestyle?

I don't claim to live a 100% ethical life, but I don't buy factory farmed meat and I wouldn't buy fur. I don't claim to be a paragon of virtue but I have some principles I try my best to stick to even if I'm not always successful.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 06-Aug-13 17:17:19

I think people are less anti-fur now than say 20 years ago at the height of the PETA 'I'd rather go naked than wear fur' campaigns.

And I didn't know that the fur industry was supporting students to use fur although I am not surprised. Its clearly a very lucrative industry.

AngusAndElspethsThistleWhistle Tue 06-Aug-13 17:17:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 06-Aug-13 17:19:47

I have a vintage fur coat that my aunt's husband gave me after her death. I love it. And it still has a faint smell of her perfume.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 06-Aug-13 17:19:55

If those particular ethics bother you then yes, squoosh, pretty much. But we all just do the best we can within our own lives.

For the sake of completeness I should say that I'm a meat eating, dairy drinking, leather wearing person! I'd happily wear fur too but can't afford it.

PasswordProtected Tue 06-Aug-13 17:39:15

I have 2 fur coats, both pucked up on ebay. I live in Europe, where it is cold in winter & do wear one if them now and again.
Very practical & no worse than wearing leather or suede.

Annianni Tue 06-Aug-13 17:40:47

I've got a Zara jacket/cardigan that I bought in Spain about 6 years ago... It's rabbit fur on the front.

I've not worn it for a few years as it's too small.
But it's very nice and I'd probably wear it this winter if it fit me.

I eat meat. And I was brought up in a shooting household.

My mum wore fur coats when she was younger and they were fabulous.
I nearly cried when she said she'd thrown a blue fox fur away a few years ago.

I doubt I'd have worn it out, as it would be a bit OTT for the school run.
But I would have kept it for dressing up

PoopMaster Tue 06-Aug-13 17:55:41

I think for me the problem would be that wearing fur would be seen as really bourgeois (or at least where I'm from) - we have farms round here though so the life/death cycle part doesn't bother me so much, if the animals are getting looked after.

saintmerryweather Tue 06-Aug-13 18:03:56

i used to have a major problem with fur when i.was younger on welfare grounds but then i grew up a bit and realised what a hypocrite that made me since i eat meat and wear leather happily enough. i wouldmt wear it myself but i dont care if others want to. i did want.to buy a reindeer skin rug when i.went to iceland cos it felt gorgeous but i couldnt get it back on the plane

sameoldIggi Tue 06-Aug-13 18:11:46

Would never wear it and am afraid would judge anyone I saw doing so. There's just no need

coffeeinbed Tue 06-Aug-13 19:39:52


womma Tue 06-Aug-13 20:02:37

Absolutely not, it's vile.

cloutiedumpling Tue 06-Aug-13 20:05:02

I wouldn't wear it. I'd be afraid someone would throw paint at me. No one around here wears it either so I'd look really out of place.

If I lived in a very cold country I might consider it.

It's not the same as eating well looked after and killed quickly meat though.

Skinning an animal alive is just wrong whichever way you look at it. Keeping animals in hideous tortuous conditions also horrendous.

Recycled vintage - better than landfill
Ethically produced - ok (providing not skinned alive, treated well while alive, by product of the meat industry)

Anything else is hideous and makes you the worst kind of fucker IMO.

ProjectGainsborough Tue 06-Aug-13 20:22:35

Wouldn't buy new as I'm not convinced it's an ethical industry. Saw a gorgous fur collar in a vintage shop and am having a conversation with myself as to to whether to buy it, though.

ProjectGainsborough Tue 06-Aug-13 20:23:32

Why do they akin the animal alive? What possible reason is there for it?

Ulysses Tue 06-Aug-13 20:24:20

Am struggling to work out the difference between vintage and new?

squoosh Tue 06-Aug-13 20:25:07

I presume they skin them alive as that way they get the full undamaged fur.

It really doesn't bear thinking about.

AntPants1 Tue 06-Aug-13 20:32:48

No. Not sure my reasons would stand up to vigorous debate/ challenge. Funnily enough I hated the idea of fur even as a young child before anyone could have influenced me. Remember hating my nana's fur coat vividly.

Like lots of posters above I am a mass of contradictions- eat meat, wear leather etc but my internal moral compass just says no. Recognise also I have lived all my life in the UK where the weather does not really warent fur and where it's not really the norm. Absolutely hate the ldea of animal cruelty so risk of Chinese fur also too great for me.

Vibbe Tue 06-Aug-13 20:40:34

Not all animals used for fur are killed while still alive.

There are bad farmers and good ones. The good ones will care about killing humanely and treating the animals well. The bad ones don't care at all.

Vibbe Tue 06-Aug-13 20:41:21

Haha, that should have been "Not all animals used for fur are skinned while still alive."

coffeeinbed Tue 06-Aug-13 20:41:45

Well, you can't kill something that's not alive?

coffeeinbed Tue 06-Aug-13 20:42:01

Oh, sorry!

Anthracite Tue 06-Aug-13 20:44:40

I have a Canada Goose winter coat with a prairie fox (coyote) hood trim. I love it. If you do enough research, you find that prairie fox is fair game for the Eskimos, and that by buying Canada Goose (and similar brands), you are supporting an indigenous lifestyle.

BerryBlast Tue 06-Aug-13 21:54:23

Yes, on the animal. On me, no

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Tue 06-Aug-13 22:06:49

Yes I would. Given half a chance. I also eat fluffy rabbits and cute deer and baby cows...it's my choice.

ProjectGainsborough Tue 06-Aug-13 23:23:42

Ah, I see. Yes, that is horrible.

ulysses I think for me, I don't mind vintage because a) it happened say, 50 years ago, so I am not actively creating an increased demand for fur and fur trade and b) I am reusing something, rather than just consuming and creating more demand for new or throwaway stuff generally.

I am rather proud of MN for this thread not becoming a bunfight.

libertychick Tue 06-Aug-13 23:47:02

My aunt has a short mink jacket, about 30 years old - she asked me if I would like it someday - I said no. I have tried it on and it looks lovely but it feels a bit too real, it creeps me out a bit, you could basically count the number of animals it took to make it.

I love fake fur though - I had an amazing fake fur coat in my 20's - big shaggy, oversize cocoon shape which I absolutely loved!

CointreauVersial Tue 06-Aug-13 23:57:47

I was at a market in a local town the other week, and there was a market stall selling vintage furs. Hundreds of coats and jackets. Lots of people browsing, no-one batting an eyelid - I couldn't help thinking that reactions to such a stall would have been very different 20 years ago. There is definitely a softening of the anti-fur stance.

As for me, well, the vintage furs were lovely, but not "me" really. I had a good stroke, though...

Tubemole1 Wed 07-Aug-13 00:02:53

No, not for me.

I sometimes work in Knightsbridge and every Saturday a guy protests outside Harrods objecting to their fur dept.

I wear leather because I eat beef. But I can't face eating a fox, or a mink. I am in turmoil about rabbit, as I like eating rabbit, and then my views don't sit nicely with me.

AmandaHoldenmigroin Wed 07-Aug-13 01:12:36

No from me. I have issues with the way they are killed. I don't see why it should make a difference that the fur is vintage. Lots of people where I live wear fur (in the collars mostly). They do not have an issue with it. each to their own, I suppose.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 07-Aug-13 06:05:22

I re-read the article last night, and the writer argued that there is almost a heirarchy of furs in terms of animal welfare. So mink farmed in Denmark will have been treated well but farmed fox is a different matter. And yes, fur from China should be avoided as so little is known about animal welfare standards.

And in Denmark the animals aren't skinned alive - they were either gassed or electrocuted. Mink the former.

Its interesting reading everyone's comments. And Liberty - I agree - its the furs that really look like fur that creep me out most.

Naebother Wed 07-Aug-13 06:11:19


dexter73 Wed 07-Aug-13 13:59:22

How old does a coat have to be before it is classed as vintage? 10 years, 40 years?

bunnymother Wed 07-Aug-13 14:29:41

I was talking to a woman at a wedding whose family sells fur, and she said something similar about the hierarchy of fur. Morally, I would actually buy and wear fur. Practically, the upkeep and maintenance of a fur coat sounds far too expensive. Specialist cleaning, specialist storage etc etc etc. So, I will probably only ever buy fake fur. Good fake fur. Not the nasty crinkly stuff that seems to shoot out electric sparks.

slug Wed 07-Aug-13 15:48:44

Possum from New Zealand is ethical fur. They are an imported species who do immense harm to the unique NZ wildlife and fauna. The fur industry keeps the numbers down and saves the birds/trees into the bargain.

Plus it's snuggly and warm. What's not to like? I lust after one of these

I have a Canada Goose winter coat with a prairie fox (coyote) hood trim. I love it. If you do enough research, you find that prairie fox is fair game for the Eskimos, and that by buying Canada Goose (and similar brands), you are supporting an indigenous lifestyle.

^ that's good to know because i am buying one for this winter. Fed up of freezing to death every year. If i can support our aboriginal peoples then so much the better.

I live in Canada and fur is not a big deal here, from what i can tell. See a fair bit of it around.

CruCru Wed 07-Aug-13 20:44:42

Isn't a really high end fur coat at least £10k? There may be ethical issues but going out with that on your back seems a bit dangerous. Plus it relies on you wearing it only to places with a proper cloakroom. Going round shops with a full length fur coat would get very heavy.

every year the fashion industry promotes fur but i don't think i ever see fur being worm- except on older ladies.

excuse the dodgy typing, i'm cuddling one of my 2 fur coats

they squeak wink

worm should be worn <<tsk>>

sameoldIggi Wed 07-Aug-13 23:31:23

I think "ethical fur" must be an oxymoron.

slug Thu 08-Aug-13 14:16:12

I think you'll find, sameoldIggi, if you read the link, that possum fur is ethical in that the fur industry in NZ is responsible for keeping down the population of an imported species that does untold damage to the unique forests and wildlife of NZ. It's at the forefront of saving several species from extinction.

During the 80's when the anti fur lobby gained ground, the fur industry in NZ shriveled as it became uneconomic to trap. The net result of this was two things. 1. The possum population boomed resulting in the die off of large swathes of native forest (they eat the growing tips of the palms and tree ferns) and several birds teetered on the edge of extinction (the kiwi being one of them) and 2. The only option the govt had left was to institute poison drops to try and control the population. The problem with these is it's impossible to target exactly who or what will eat the bait. So along with poisoned possums you also had poisoned cats, birds and the occasional child, not to mention the birds of prey that feasted on the poisoned possums themselves and promptly died too.

It's a real problem when an imported species with no natural predators is allowed to get out of control. The first time I took DH to NZ we were about an hour out of Auckland when he got up the courage to ask if we deliberately drove over possums. The answer is 'yes' it's almost a national duty. We know that possums and bunnies, however cute and fluffy they may look, represent a major threat to what makes NZ unique.

AmandaHoldenmigroin Thu 08-Aug-13 16:12:42

Also live in N. America. The Canada Goose jackets are very popular.

sameoldIggi Thu 08-Aug-13 18:03:33

The species could be culled by the government however. Choosing to dress up in their skins is not the ethical part.

Branleuse Thu 08-Aug-13 18:06:19

I definitely would vintage fur, but i wouldnt buy it new

You cant beat real fur or sheepskin for warmth

No. Absolutely no.

Lanceolate Thu 08-Aug-13 18:14:56

No. Never.

Rooners Thu 08-Aug-13 19:37:03

I still feel uncomfortable about leather and sheepskin and so on. (and meat, dairy etc)

Our society makes it very hard to avoid these things, but very easy to avoid fur.

I would NEVER buy new fur. I have an old coat which has a fur collar, I think it's real but the coat cost £4 in a charity shop many years ago and I decided to keep it as the money went to charity and the animal is long dead. It's no longer supporting the fur trade, if that makes any sense.

I binned a leather coat once in a fit of veganism and tbh it was just a waste really. Poor animal died for nothing, I suppose.

I also have a few fur hats etc that were my grandmother's.

guineapiglet Thu 08-Aug-13 19:46:49

No- never.

If we were living in an arctic or antarctic culture which depended on hunter gathering, fair enough. But we don't.

There are plenty of alternatives so that animals do not have to suffer so we can be warm.

Fur coats belong to the lovely animals created to wear them. Full stop.
The only 'skin' I wear is my lovely thermal Jack Wolfskin coat - an animal's life is not necessary to keep warm. And, who on earth thinks it 'looks' cool - those trying to sell them probably.

sansucre Thu 08-Aug-13 20:26:56

Further to a comment a poster made upthread about leather being a by-product of the beef industry, for the most part, it isn't. In fact, a lot of leather used for clothing, shoes, handbags and gloves isn't a by product of the meat industry at all. Indeed, it's worth noting that kid (baby goat) leather or calf skin is used to make many leather accessories from, and these animals are bred for their hides.

And what about leather upholstery too? Again, the more expensive the product, the chances are the skin will come from an animal that's been bred for its hide.

Most cheap 'fast fashion' brands use something called 'split skin' which is pig skin that's been split in two. It's cheap, nasty and doesn't last. It also comes from animals that haven't been raised well, who have mostly been reared intensively for their meat. On the other hand, the brands who sell accessories and handbags use skis from animals that have been treated well, who have been raised properly and killed with as little harm to the animal as possible. This way, the skins are in better condition, and contain less stress markings. PETA and other such organisations are highly selective with the truth, and it's worth remembering this.)

Oh, and as for 'exotic skins' such as Ostrich, Alligator etc. etc. houses like Louis Vuitton and Hermes (to name just a few) invest heavily in the farms which breed the animals, and the animals are treated well, at great cost, something that is reflected in the price.

And this is why I try not to buy cheap leather goods, particularly those made in China, as I know the animals haven't been treated well. And all I want from an animal I eat, or one I wear is that it's led a well-cared for and happy life.

Anyway, onto fur -

With regards to fur, I'd probably not buy new (mostly because I can't afford to) but I have no issue buying vintage fur. In fact, for me, I'd rather wear real fur than fake fur, which I think its ugly, both to look at and feel. I also don't like the way its made as it uses process and materials that are damaging to the environment, as a poster has mentioned earlier up thread.

To the poster asking about vintage -
I think for clothing, it has to be at least 30+ years old (possibly even more) to considered vintage. (I have to confess that when I spy something a season old from a high street store on ebay listed as vintage, I fall about laughing, because it's not. (I think Patsy in Ab Fab made a joke about how one day, clothing coming back from the dry cleaners will be considered vintage.. I think we're pretty much there.)

EasterHoliday Thu 08-Aug-13 21:57:01

exotics treated well? what like the snakes who are pumped full of water so that they swell like balloons while alive to stretch the skin and can therefore be more carefully flayed, alive, to make the leather more supple? Well cheers LVMH for keeping them in a nice glass case up until that point

Panzee Thu 08-Aug-13 22:16:44

I think vintage has to be older than you. Obviously a moveable feast!

mystaplerisevil Thu 08-Aug-13 22:20:57

fgs no wearing fur makes you look like a twat

why are we reverting back to the 1950 on mn these days?

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